Luke 13

Luke 13 has Jesus teaching on the importance of repentance and salvation.  He talked about two recent disasters – one involving Pilate and his killing of a group of folks, and the second a tower that fell on 18 people – but the purpose was to make the point that “unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”.  Jesus says that we all will die, we all have a sin problem, and no matter how it happens, we will stand before God and give account.  Thus we have to repent while we can or we face God’s judgment – we will perish.  It’s a direct message to the religious leaders that their attempt to earn their way to heaven was going to fall short.

Jesus illustrates the truth with a parable involving a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit.  “Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground”?  God looks for fruit.  The fruit of our life shows what kind of person we really are. What fruit is God looking for? It certainly has to begin with the fruit of the Spirit, but then it moves toward bearing fruit by bringing others to Christ.  The farmer in the story illustrates patience from God’s judgment.  He gave the tree a second chance to reach its purpose to bear fruit.  He gave it special care.  God does the same in our life, but we have to respond to that love and care and begin to bear fruit.

Jesus teaches and heals in the synagogue, which doesn’t go without resistance.  He isn’t following the rules that the religious leaders have set and He is upsetting their apple cart both economically and following the law.  So they are out to get Him.  But he makes it clear that God’s plan is different than theirs.  Jesus illustrates and answers their question: “What is the kingdom of God like”?  He gives a couple different illustrations for them:

  1. “It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches
  2. It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in  three measures of flour, until it was  all leavened

These are really a picture of what the growth and influence of the church should be.

Jesus’ first example is that of a mustard seed that becomes a tree and paints a beautiful picture of the church growing so large that it provides refuge for all of the world.  It’s actually what the early church did, sprouting from the very seed of Jesus’ life, and becoming a rapidly growing place for Christ Followers to come together.  The second example involved leaven, where a little bit can impact the entire batch.  Jesus uses this to illustrate that corruption can get into the church and hide, yet impact the whole.

Jesus goes on to address the question about salvation with this response: ““For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able when once the master of the house has risen and shut the door”.  There will come a time when it is too late to enter; that is why we must have an urgency to enter now.  No one knows the day or time we’ll stand before God.  But there will come that day, and God’s love and mercy will only extend to a point.  We have to take action to receive the grace He has offered us through Jesus Christ so we are ready to enter rather than be denied.

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One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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